reality tv

Neale Whitaker is stepping back from The Block. Here's why and who is replacing him.

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Neale Whitaker has entranced Australians ever since he first stepped onto The Block in its third season in 2010.

Now after almost 13 years, the British judge is stepping back from the reality renovation show.

Watch the trailer for The Block 2023 here. Post continues after video. 

Video via Nine.

While he will still judge the new builds in the Melbourne Bayside area of Hampton East on Charming Street, he won't be around every week. 

"It's been an amazing honour really," Whitaker said about his time on the show in an official statement. 

"There is no other way I could describe it. It’s been a privilege to be part of this show for so long. 

Whitaker began giving his hilarious quips and professional critiques to new contestants on The Block in the show's third season.

"When they asked me to judge in 2010, if someone had told me I would still be here in 2023, 13 years later, I would not have believed them," he said.  

While Whitaker was in the very first House Decider challenge along with fellow judges Shaynna Blaze and Darren Palmer, he will be sharing his role with newcomer Marty Fox.


Neale Whitaker, Darren Palmer, Shaynna Blaze and Marty Fox. Image: Nine. 

Fox is a familiar face to The Block, as he previously sold two houses on the show before – Harry and Tash’s in Brighton in 2020, and Rachel and Ryan’s in Gisborne in 2022. 

Whitaker touched on his decision to step back in an emotional Instagram post on Sunday evening, telling fans he's committing more time to his family. 

"My partner of 20 years, David, experienced some serious health issues earlier this year and my priority has been to spend more time at home," he said. 


"But I’m happy to announce that real estate guru Marty Fox has been able to bring his expertise to The Block and join Shaynna and Darren on the weeks when I couldn’t be there.

"The best news of all is that David is making a great recovery, and I’m looking forward to returning to The Block full-time for the show’s 20th anniversary season in 2024."

Whitaker moved to Australia in 1999 and has had a long history editing magazines such as Belle and Vogue Living.

Feature Image: Instagram/@nealewhitaker.

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